Erik Homenick with Kiwami Ifukube (the composer's son) at the composer's Tokyo home in July 2010
Thank you for visiting AKIRAIFUKUBE.ORG!
My name is Erik Homenick and I live in San Diego, California. I began this website on April 14, 2006, just over two months after Akira Ifukube passed away. As a long-time fan of this composer's film scores and classical compositions, I felt it was my duty to honor the life and history of this great artist and make large amounts of information about him readily available in English.
This site represents years and years of research I have done into the composer. In the summer of 2010, I was most fortunate that this research took me to Japan to visit Hokkaido and see, firsthand, many of the areas where Ifukube lived and worked during his early days as a forestry officer and composer.
In May 2014 I again traveled to Japan to attend the Akira Ifukube 100th Anniversary Concert at the MUZA Hall in Kawasaki.
On July 12, 2014, I acted as a consultant and Master of Ceremonies for the Rondo Award-nominated Ifukube 100 Concert (produced by John DeSentis and Chris Oglio), which took place in conjuction with G-FEST (the world's only annual Godzilla convention), at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, Illinois.
I again participated as a consultant and Master of Ceremonies for Ifukube 100's follow-up concert, Symphonic Fury: The Music of Japanese Monsters - also produced by DeSentis and Oglio and held at the Pickwick Theater - on July 10, 2015. For this concert, I helped to arrange the United States premières of Ifukube's World War Two-era march, Kishi Mai, as well as his three Symphonic Fantasias. (This concert also marked the world première concert performances of the Gamera and Godzilla music of the composer Kow Otani, who was in attendance.)
On July 10, 2016, I returned to Tokyo to attend the Tokyo Symphony concert commemorating the tenth anniversary of Ifukube's death. Days later on July 13, I was in the audience at a special recital of Ifukube's chamber works at the Tokyo College of Music. At this event, the composer's once believed lost first composition, Three Songs of Autumn from the Heian Period, received its world premiere performance.
Also in July of 2016, I was a participant on a special panel discussion on Godzilla movies at the world famous San Diego Comic-Con.
In December 17, 2016, I was the Master of Ceremonies at a special concert of Akira Ifukube's chamber works at Nichols Hall at the prestigious Music Institute of Chicago. The featured performer was the pianist Reiko Yamada, a former student of Akira Ifukube.
In July 2019 I was asked by John DeSentis to once again serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the Kaiju Crescendo concert, which took place in the Chicoland area at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. This concert featured selections from Ifukube's kaiju film scores as well as work by Masaru Sato and Michiru Oshima. Miss Oshima personally conducted her Godzilla scores at this concert.
I have also participated as a consultant and writer on Reiko Yamada's Akira Ifukube - Works for Piano series; each of these critcially acclaimed recordings features a world première performance.
AKIRAIFUKUBE.ORG was featured on National Public Radio's Music Through the Night program in November 2010 and on NHK Radio Japan's Friends Around the World program in August 2011. The site has also appeared in several Japanese newspapers.
Aside from the music of Ifukube, I am also a huge fan of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. In 2009 I attended the annual Sibelius Music Festival in Lahti, Finland. I also visited the home of Sibelius, called Ainola, which is now a museum.
In addition to music, foreign languages are a passion of mine: I have a Master of Arts degree in French from San Diego State University. My French studies helped me develop a heavy interest in the writings of the Marquis de Sade. I also studied the Finnish language for many years.
I have worked as a Lecturer of French and of Humanities at San Diego State University and as a professor of French at Mesa, City, and Southwestern Colleges in the San Diego area.
Currently, I am working on a PhD in Literature at the University of California, San Diego. I intend on writing my doctoral thesis on Akira Ifukube's musical contributions to and philosophical reflections on Godzilla films.
I also enjoy physical fitness, reading, traveling, radio communications (amateur radio callsign KG6KLG), being a member of the World Famous Mt. Helix Toastamasters and spending time with my dog Lily.
Finally, a note about the whimsical hand-drawings that are obviously such an integral part to the design of this website. The frog, bear, crown and flute player were all sketched by Akira Ifukube. The image of the frog comes from a promotional flyer for Ifukube's first published work, Piano Suite (1933). The bear and the crown were drawn of the cover page of the original manuscript for Japanese Rhapsody (1935), Ifukube's first orchestral work. The drawings are earthy and distinctive, much like Ifukube's music, and they are fine representations of the composer's artistic spirit.
I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to AKIRAIFUKUBE.ORG.
Acting as the Master of Ceremoies at the Akira Ifukube concert at Nichols Concert Hall, Chicago.
On stage with John DeSentis and Michiro Oshima at Kaiju Crescendo.
Photo by Len Medlock.
Erik Homenick with Akira Ifukube's two children Kyoko and Kiwami in Kawasaki, Japan on May 31, 2014.
Erik Homenick with Kiwami Ifukube at a Shinjuku, Tokyo tempura restaurant on July 11, 2016
© Erik Homenick. All rights reserved.